Growing up, I had the gift of having parents that saw the importance and merit of traveling.  Granted, many of our family vacays were much needed respite for them from their high-paced and high-stress jobs, we still got to go to some pretty cool places.

When I was really young, the majority of our trips lasted just a day or two, but they were still escapes from our daily grinds (my daily grind at the time was coloring in the lines and pooping in my pants).  We often hopped in our modest Toyota Corolla and headed an hour or two outside the city (Philadelphia) to the rather beautiful rolling hills that surrounded it.  Places like Amish Country, the Pocono Mountains and the 1st rate attraction, Crystal Cave (not) allowed us to spend time as a family and get some fresh air.

2010 05 22 - 6384 - Kutztown - Crystal Caves

At that time, I didn’t even really think about travel, as our quick little jaunts just seemed routine to me and I’d frequently ask my mom, “where arrr weee goinnng dis weekend?” (no I didn’t have downes syndrome), actually it probably sounded more like this, “where hour we going sissssss weekend?”  (I had a massive lisp).

Well as time went on, my parent’s bank roll increased as they paid down their student loans and climbed the corporate ladder, and with that professional progression, our trips started getting more serious.

I remember the first “big” trip we took was to the Riviera Maya in Mexico (a large strip of land south of Cancun).  Keep in mind, this was in 1996 when it was just really beginning to be built.  My parents landed a pretty solid all-inclusive deal to the “Iberostar” as the resort was actually still under construction as we were there.

Riviera Maya, Mexico
I had never left the country nor been to a resort that was all you could eat/drink (I drank virgin pina coladas all day long son!) with a pool and my very own bed.  Needless to say, I’m pretty sure we all had a pretty awesome time and from that point on, we took some pretty serious trips including road tripping from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, Italy and a cruise in Alaska.

I definitely got my travel bug from my parents, and as we speak, or as I write, they’re currently on a 3.5 week trip across Ireland and Finland (ya I don’t know why Finland either), so even as they approach 60 (weird), they are still just as adventurous as ever.

I was brought up with the notion that material stuff was never as important as experience, and thankfully I still live that way.  Of course you gotta have one nice pair of jeans, an intermediate watch and a $40 hair cut here and there, but what I spend my extra money on is travel, and that’s what I’m going to do for some time to come.

Now, I travel every 5 or 6 weeks for at least a couple of them.  This lets me focus on building my business and having at least some stability to my life, while letting me experience and adventure as much as possible.  I like the mix.

Did your family influence your love for travel?